Kitchen gadgets review: coconut opener – your basic vigilante cudgel

Rudimentary heft … Rhik tests the Tomorrow’s Kitchen coconut opener. Photograph: David Levene for the Guardian


Tomorrow’s Kitchen coconut opener (£6.99, Lakeland) is full tang steel straightedge, with riveted wooden handle. The tip can pierce the germination pore of a coconut’s shell, the blade fissures its circumference.


It’s a low-tech tool for wannabe hackers.


It is possibly a sign of desperate loneliness, but I recently retrieved a corn husk from the bin, drew eyes on it, and gave her a name. Penelope Crusoe and I go everywhere together now, although we mostly stay in. I’m in a Cast Away mood, you see, due to my latest obsession, jelly nuts. If you don’t know, these are very young Thai coconuts, with the softest flesh.

They are honestly extraordinary. One can pick them up at markets, and Asda, too. M&S even sells them, with ring pulls installed in the shell, and a straw. A coconut with a ring pull! What’s next, basil that picks itself? Self-saucing chicken? No, no, no. To get into these nuts while keeping your dignity, you need the coconut opener from Tomorrow’s Kitchen. (On a point of technicality, every one of my nuts is a drupe. But at least I’ve got a nice personality.)

The opener is nothing complicated: a hard metal edge encased in a wooden block, your basic vigilante cudgel. You can hack in to the coconut, as you would with a machete. Or better, conserve juice by tapping a hairline crack into the exposed shell, and prising it apart like in a Bounty advert. The splitter’s rudimentary heft is perfect for that desert-island feel, and it even looks as if it could have been fashioned from flotsam.

Not coconut shy.
 Not coconut shy. Photograph: David Levene for the Guardian

Sipping on the gauzy nectar leaves a man to maunder on isolation and love. Is it true that none of us is an island? Penelope says we are an archipelago, all of us connected, all of us alone. But what the hell does she know? She is corn. Oh, now she’s giving me the silent treatment. Christ. And here I was, thinking the jellies were a tough nut to crack. Thanks to the coconut splitter, it simply ain’t so.

Any downside?

Are you aware the white of a coconut is called the endosperm? I don’t expect you to do anything with that, just wanted it out of my head for a bit.

Counter, drawer, back of the cupboard?

Island survival kit. (Between Penelope and Man Fry-Day, the saucepan with legs.